Friday, March 17, 2023

Why are Potatoes used to test Wi-Fi in an Airplane?

Radio waves cannot penetrate all types of matter, unlike Superman’s laser beams. A radio wave can be absorbed, reflected, or refracted depending on the object. Because Wi-Fi signals are radio waves, they are also absorbed by certain objects and lose strength.

In an airplane, there are an average of 200 people seated in rows. As a way to ensure uniform Wi-Fi coverage across the plane, engineers at Boeing Co. (A leading manufacturer of airplanes) recruited ‘test subjects’ to help identify the approximate strength of Wi-Fi and possible weak spots.

To generate data, they found it more convenient to use potato sacks instead of human test subjects. Potatoes absorb and reflect radio waves in much the same way as the human body, making them a suitable substitute for airline passengers due to their water content and chemistry.

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